|Brief||Drops Conscriptnaughts and Lunokhod tanks from orbit in drop pods.|
|Production Building||Space Marine Protocol|
|Secondary Ability||Explosive Charges|
|Heroic Upgrade||Gatling Gun|
"Gravity? What's that?"
- - Conscriptnaught
- Comrade Cosmonaut: To put it simply, Conscriptnaughts are glorified conscripts in spacesuits, armed with a rapid fire Degtyaryov machine gun which can easily blanket an area in bullets and suppress infantry, and explosive charges which can be planted on structures.
- Drop Troopers!: Conscriptnaughts are clad in armoured spacesuits that grant them protection against weapons fire. Usually not present on the battlefield, Conscriptnaughts are deployed into the battle via atmospheric re-entry capsules, and can only be requested via the Space Marines Protocol.
- Unused to Gravity: Conscriptnaughts suffer from several weaknesses, however. They are extremely slow, and cannot combat vehicles or aircraft.
- Gatling Good: Conscriptnaughts are known to "borrow" Gatling guns meant for destroying asteroids. These Gatling guns boast an even higher rate of fire than the Degtyaryov, but can cause problems for Conscriptnaughts who have never handled a gun in full gravity before, thus limiting its use to experienced Conscriptnaughts.
The Soviet Union are undoubtedly the current leaders in the Soviet-Allied "Space Race". The Magnetic Satelite, the Mir Space Station, all of these are shining examples of Soviet superiority in the realm of outer space. Unsurprisingly, the Soviet Union has more men in space than any of the other powers. The Soviets enjoy this edge, and will overstaff their stations, to the point of always sending up men with any launch. However, the Soviets don't adequately record these launches, and many of the men who have gone up later found out that they were already conscripted! The Red Army, however, instead of just bringing down a few men to train, saw the benefit in this. They could stay up there and stay as the fourth shift backup, but when battle came, they would need to serve.
The next cargo shipment up to the Mir station was loaded with Degtyaryov ET type light machine guns and enough ammunition to fight a small war. This gun wasn't chosen due to any particular strength, but simply because their flat, drum magazines were easily stacked in a rocket. While a few cosmonauts use them to propel themselves across distances in low orbit, all cosmonaut conscripts (better known as Conscriptnaughts) aboard are expected to know how to use the weapons by reading the user manual (the cartoon strip that came with them). Since firing the weapon in the station itself would cause unacceptable damage to the space station's structural integrity, it is typical for a fresh Conscriptnaught to have never fired his weapon before his drop.
When finally called to service, the Conscriptnaughts are herded into emergency survival pods by the single Commissar in orbit. The survival pods are designed to survive re-entry, and serve ably as drop pods. Technicians on the station calculate where and for how long the retrorockets on the survival pod have to burn to get it to the battlefield they were requested on, no small task in itself, but done carefully to avoid the one time a battle in the Balkans resulted in a Conscriptnaught squad being dropped in the Amazon basin. Unlike other "drop" troops, the Conscriptnaughts are not expected to serve in a strategic manner; they lack the supplies and equipment to do so. Instead, they are literally dropped in the middle of battle, wherever the presiding officer believes they will do the best job. The only thing close to heavy weaponry they have is anti-asteroid gatling guns that they ripped from their station, though only Conscriptnaughts who have been earthside enough know how to handle it in full gravity. Conscriptnaughts are therefore not expected to live long, much like other conscripts, but it is hoped that they will shoot enough enemies to be worth the cost of the space suit.
|T-58ET "Lunokhod" Tank, Extra Terrestrial Type|
|Unit Type||Main Battle Tank|
|Production Building||Space Marine Protocol|
(Gains AA, higher ROF and armour)
|Heroic Upgrade||Magnetic Ripper Cannon|
|Country of Origin||Soviet Union|
|Manufactured at||Soviet "Mir" Space Station, Earth Orbit|
|Key Features|| » 125mm Autoloading cannon|
» "Grumble" SAM launchers
» Integral steel-gel armour plating
» Internal life support system
» Lots of cushioning for re-entry
- - Allied field medic Martha Jones
- Recycled IN SPACE!: Armed and armoured similarly to a standard Soviet main battle tank, Lunokhod tanks are created from space junk aboard the Soviet Mir station, and can be dropped to earth along with Conscriptnaughts when a commander needs them, via the Space Marine Protocol.
- Gravity Hurts: After they have reached earth, Lunokhod tanks can deploy, boosting their rate of fire and armour, as well as well gaining the ability to utilise surface-to-air missile launchers. Do note, however, that they can't pack back up.
- Weight Limitations: Because of the limits of tank production in space, Lunokhods are overall less well armed and armoured than their earth-bound counteparts.
- Metal Ripper: Some Lunokhods have been refitted with magnetic ripper cannons, which have proven extremely effective at tearing apart tanks, and can damage multiple targets simultaneously. Destroyed tanks tend to send fragments of metal flying, usually to the detriment of any infantry nearby.
Over the course of its space program, the Soviet Union has put hundreds of tonnes of space freight into orbit. Satellites, probes, manned spacecraft. While the ability to get the most tonnes into orbit each year out of the major powers is something the Soviets are proud of, it has also created a lot of problems. Simply put, problems with space junk.
Inactive and decommissioned satellites, abandoned space probes, random bits of scrap; all of these can be considered as space junk, and sufficiently large pieces can pose a problem. The Soviet Union, as the current leaders in the Space Race, are also the biggest contributors to the man-made debris circling around the Earth; their track record hasn't been helped by the intentional launching of a pile of scrap into orbit, or their infamous magnetic satellite, which has led to dozens of tanks, aircraft, and ships floating in orbit. This becomes a problem because of the hazards all this junk poses; to communication satellites, space stations, parked spacecraft, and just about any other man-made object in orbit. Given that these pieces of junk are travelling at speeds measured in kilometres per second, even a relatively small piece of refuse could cause some damage, and a large object would be an even bigger hazard. Worse still, collisions create even more pieces of debris, further worsening the problem.
Of course, the various powers have developed measures to intercept space junk that are on a collision course with a space station or satellite, such as the use of spectrum beams to push debris away from satellites, and spaceships can just manoeuvre out of the way of objects large enough to pose a threat to them. The Soviet Union has its own method of dealing with this problem; the use of magnetic technology allows the Soviets to clear out orbital debris, preventing damage to their satellites or space stations.
The problem then becomes what to do with this orbital refuse. Some of it can of course be sent back down to the surface, with predictable destructive results, of course, as evidenced by the Union's infamous use of "orbital drops" on both Imperial and Allied forces during the Third World War. Not all of the space junk can be disposed of this way, particularly since there are far less targets to drop stuff on now that the war is over. Some of this orbital junk was herded into "graveyard" orbits, where they would be less likely to collide with a functioning satellite or space station. One of the personnel serving aboard the Mir had a more crazy idea, though; salvage the scrap metal, and use it to build tanks! After all, Conscriptnaughts would need some sort of armour support when they were dropped into combat, not to mention for when they landed on the moon! Having been extremely drunk on vodka paste at the time and not having thought of the idea as anything more than a good joke, he went to the space station commander's office to tell him of his "brilliant scheme".
The idea was so insane that the Mir's commander burst into an uncontrollable bout of laughter which carried on for several minutes, before he was able to compose himself sufficiently to realise that the idea might actually work. The Conscriptnaughts took to the idea very quickly (after some laughter was exchanged), as did Soviet High Command, remembering the disastrous incident at Mt. Fuji. An order was given to start work on the construction of an entirely new wing for the space station, which was to be dedicated to the production of tanks and other vehicles from salvaged scrap. Simultaneously, a panel of experts was formed to come up with a suitable tank design to be built by the station.
Many ideas and concepts were considered: magnetic levitation tanks, jet propelled tanks, tanks with a 180mm cannon mounted down the nose, tanks that could deploy 203mm howitzers; the list went on and on. However, all the designs had one major flaw or another; either the tank was too big for reentry or otherwise it had too many technical issues. Either way, the panel couldn't decide. For five weeks, the panel looked through hundreds of blueprints, consumed hundreds of jumbo sized vodka bottles and hundreds of headache pills. Yet they still could not find a good design.
Then, one member was reported to have said, "Why fix something if it isn't broken in the first place? Let's just take the Rhino, modify it like we did with the Hammer for the Airborne Guards and just call it a day." After countless sleepless nights, the other members all agreed, although most voted simply to end their torture.
So once again, the new tank was to be assembled from old technology. Building on Soviet blueprints for lunar buggies, Soviet engineers proceeded to add Rhino-grade armour and create an airtight seal around the design. As the buggy had already been designed with an internal life support system, the crew of the tank would be able to operate without any spacesuits, greatly improving their mobility. Caterpillar tracks replaced the wheel propulsion to give the new T-58ET Lunokhod Tank more mobility on Earth. To address the problem of weapons, the Rhino tank's 85mm cannon was mounted on a new, smaller turret, which in turn was mounted on the tank. Additionally, a pair of surface to air missile launchers were mounted on the turret, giving the tank anti-air capability. Lastly, to enable the Lunokhod to stand the g-shocks of reentry, the steel cavities in the armour was filled with shock absorbant gel.
The Lunokhod proved effective and compact enough to be used in orbital drops. Best of all, it was cheap. Using metal gathered from enemy tanks sucked up by the Magnetic Satellite, the Mir was able to produce T-58ETs for very little cost. In fact, the cost to produce a T-58ET is comparable to the cost of training a Flak Trooper. As such, the Mir has manufactured so many T-58ETs that it has become possible for tactical commanders to call for their support. However, the cost of the heavy duty re-entry modules needed for these tanks means that only top commanders can use them. Even so, the flexibility of an orbital insertion combined with the power of the 85mm makes the T-58ET a very deadly vehicle.